July 28, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC
Dear SDWAC Colleagues and Friends,
The Council has had an outstanding July, culminating in a high point – our first "Tijuana Day," on Tuesday, July 25. The feedback has been unanimously positive. Twenty-seven members and guests boarded a tour bus in Chula Vista and crossed into Mexico at the new Mexican border facility, El Chapparal. Accompanied by our guide for the day, Juan Saldana of the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau, we proceeded to the Tijuana Cultural Center for a fascinating hour-and-a-half visit. First our group walked through the permanent exhibition "Museo de las Californias," which, with artifacts and displays, traces the natural and human history of Baja California from prehistoric times to the 20th century and makes clear the linkages between Baja and Alta California. We then toured an exhibit devoted to the drawings and sculpture of artist Jose Luis Cuevas (1934-July 3, 2017), an important Mexican artist who challenged the dominance of the muralist movement in the mid 20th century and helped launch "La Ruptura" (the Rupture), a modernist movement that focused on the darker side of human nature.
Our next stop was the Casa del Migrante (House of Migrants), a facility run by a Roman Catholic order, with government and foundation assistance, that houses migrants in need. Traditionally Casa del Migrante has housed northbound migrants, such as the wave of Haitians that surged into northern Mexico earlier this year. Increasingly, however, its residents are predominantly Mexican citizens recently deported by the United States, often after many years in the U.S. and with little Spanish or knowledge of Mexican culture. We were met at Casa del Migrante by Sra. Dolores Gastelum, First Lady of Tijuana (wife of Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum), who is deeply involved in social work.
There followed a lengthy stop at one of Tijuana's finest restaurants, Mision 19, where our group heard a very thorough overview from U.S. Consul General William Ostick of the economic and commercial situation not only of Tijuana but of the entire border region, which stretches, as he put it, "from Ensenada to Dana Point." Mr. Ostick stressed the volume of trade and people crossing this, "the busiest border in the world," and the integrated and interdependent nature of the regional economy. Referring to our next stop, Turbotec, a maquiladora run by San Diego-based Solar Turbines, the Consul General called on us to imagine what we would see there and "multiply by 500" to get an idea of the extent of the manufacturing work being done just south of San Diego. We also viewed a short film produced by the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau.
At last we tucked into a superb lunch at Mision 19, featuring the contemporary "Baja Cali" cuisine of celebrity chef Javier Plascencia. We left, satisfied by succulent pork belly and brisket, and rode contented to Turbotec. An in-depth briefing on the factory's activities (mostly refurbishing turbines under Solar's 30,000-hour warranty) was followed by an in-depth tour of the shop floor. Your scribe, for one, was impressed by the skill of the Mexican engineers and workers and some of the new, automated equipment that Turbotec has recently installed and is training its workers to operate. After this absorbing day, it was satisfying to re-cross the border, with facilitation by the U.S. Consulate General and the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection.
Many participants have already suggested we consider another Tijuana Day next year, and SDWAC leadership is inclined to agree. This hands-on, people-to-people experience, which hits each major area of the Council's focus – policy, economic/commercial, and cultural, is the kind of thing we ought to be doing more of. Hearty thanks are due to our interns and volunteers, particularly Alex Araujo, Matt Musil and Petya Dolaptchieva, and to the support of the U.S. Consulate General and the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau, for making this outing a rousing success.
“Life as a Military Officer in the Middle East”
Col. Chris Richie
Col. Chris Richie, a longtime Aviation Command and Control officer with the U.S. Marine Corps, will speak on America's national security strategies and vital national interests. He will discuss instruments of national power such as diplomacy, information, the military, and economics, and how these tools are tied to foreign military sales. Col. Richie will also share experiences living with his family in the United Arab Emirates.
About our Speaker
During a career spanning 25 years, Col. Richie has served in 17 countries and played an important role in a number of efforts supporting U.S. national security interests. From 2012-2014, while serving with the Military Liaison Office for the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates, Col. Richie oversaw a $19 billion foreign military sales program and was involved with numerous U.S. Central Command activities. He also led efforts for the first Joint Military Dialogue between the UAE and United States. Col. Richie currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Installations West, Camp Pendleton, with responsibility for Government and Regional external affairs.
Monday, August 14, 2017
6:00-6:30 p.m. Registration & Reception
6:30-9:00 p.m. Presentation
AMN Healthcare Boardroom
12400 High Bluff Drive
San Diego CA, 92130
Save the Date: August 28, 2017
Retired Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Jr., former Commander, Pacific Fleet, will speak on "U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: a Practitioner’s Perspective.” More details to come.
NORTH COUNTY CHAPTER
North County Chapter events will resume in September. Check back for full details on a new lineup of Thursday Morning Forums, held at The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Presidency in Peril; What to do? Sanction... Perhaps?; Law and Justice in Poland; Turkey's Democratic Death Throes; Yemen in the Time of Cholera; and Pushing Boundaries: China Versus the World
Quote of the Week:
"Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else who did so."
-- Jared Kushner, in remarks to press following his private meeting with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, July 24.
"I Beg My Pardon?" Gene Healy -- CATO Institute, July 24, 2017
"Trump and Congress Are Probably on a Collision Course over Russia" Nate Silver -- FiveThirtyEight, July 26, 2017
"Trump and Congressional Republicans: It's Complicated" Carle Hulse -- The New York Times, July 25, 2017
What to do? Sanctions...Perhaps?
"Have Sanctions Become the Swiss Army Knife of U.S. Foreign Policy?" Robert Kahn -- CFR, July 24, 2017
"To Punish Putin, Economic Sanctions Are Unlikely to Do the Trick" Eduardo Porter -- The New York Times, July 25, 2017
"EU Ready to Retaliate Against U.S. Sanctions on Russia" Jim Brunsden -- Financial Times, July 23, 2017
Law and Justice in Poland
Turkey's Democratic Death Throes
"Erdogan's Anti-Westernism Picks Up Speed" Henri J. Barkey -- The Atlantic, July 25, 2017
"What a Day to Celebrate Press Freedom in Turkey" Murat Yetkin -- Hurriyet Daily News, July 24, 2017
"Journalism Is Under Seige in Turkey as Trial Begins for 17 Defendants from Leading Newspaper" Umar Farooq -- The Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2017